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date: 28 February 2020

Mauchly, John Williamlocked

(30 August 1907–08 January 1980)
  • Paul E. Ceruzzi


Mauchly, John William (30 August 1907–08 January 1980), physicist and inventor, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Sebastian Jacob Mauchly, a physicist, and Rachel Scheidemantel. The family moved from Cincinnati to the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., after his father, who had been teaching physics at the University of Cincinnati, took a job at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. That department was a leading center for research in terrestrial magnetism and would become famous for research in high-energy physics in the following decades. Mauchly recalled visiting his father there often as a youth. Significantly, the DTM’s study of the earth’s magnetic field required the sorting and analyzing of large quantities of statistical data gathered from stations around the world. Mauchly’s later efforts to employ computing machines for the analysis of weather phenomena echoed that style of work....

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